113 Tech Updates: Christmas Edition
Happy Holidays from Lisa Suhr!
My Gift to You: Unwrap These (fairly) New Tech Resources!
Google Classroom: 2018 User Guide
A contact I made through a Google+ community, Jeremy Dudley, generously shared a fantastic user guide for Google Classroom which includes all the summer 2018 updates plus all the basics! He created it full of text instructions, labeled screenshots and even a time stamped video to meet the training preferences of any user...it's amazing. If you've been wanting to use Google Classroom, its a fantastic starting place, or if you're a "legacy user" you'll probably find something you didn't know was available! Check it out at the link below:
Click here or on the Google Classrom icon above to access the guide.
(Don't forget to do File > Add to my drive to save it to your own Google Drive for later use!
Christmas Activities in Seesaw
Check out these ready to use student activities from the Seesaw Activity Library. Get kids talking about their thinking for deeper learning!
- Multiplication Christmas Activity
- Visualizing #1 (value of descriptive words in writing)
- Christmas Tree Words (use with any spelling list)
- Winter Time Ten-Frame
If none of these seem quite right for your age/subject, search in the activity library for "Christmas" or "winter" and check out the tons of other options. The Activity Library is a new feature as of this school year and it keeps growing with fantastic ready-to-use options. You can also make your own ready-to-assign activity!
"Winter is Snow Fun" Digital Breakout from BreakoutEdu
A great team builder or brain "warm-up" is a quick digital breakout. A digital breakout is completed entirely online...no physical locks or boxes required. BreakoutEDU has several that can be accessed for free. This "Winter is Snow Fun" digital breakout is probably designed for upper elementary, but to use with older students, divide the class in teams and see who can complete it the quickest. Have students screenshot their "success screen" and share with you for proof of completion!
Bonus Gift: Check out the QR Code Extension for Google Chrome. When you have it installed, you can pull a webpage like the one to the digital breakout above and quickly project it to share a QR code with your class for getting there quickly! Read the overview at the link above and then install it to have the quickest way EVER to share a QR code with students!
Custom Google Search Engine Creation Tool
Teachers all know that scaffolding to help students learn difficult skills is valuable. One of the most difficult things for kids to do is making sense of internet search results. . . even many adults think it is overwhelming. So why not scaffold that experience for students, too?
Create your own personal Google search engine and let students search through a more limited group of URLs that we know will yield results that are valuable and safe and developmentally appropriate? You can do just that using Google's Custom Search Engine creation tool found at:
Simply log in with your Google credentials and start a project where you list the URLs you want to be included when students enter their own search terms. Share the URL of your new, custom search tool through Google Classroom or Seesaw as a link for students to access or, even better, create a QR code that goes straight to your custom search tool. Bonus Gift: Click here for my favorite extension for Google Chrome aptly named "The QR Code Extension," that makes it a snap to create a QR code and display it to students with your projector.
Visual Nearpod User Guide
A fellow Nearpod Certified Trainer created this amazing visual user guide for Nearpod. When I saw it I was excited to gift it to our staff since we have access to the entire set of Nearpod resources and options. Take a look at the guide at this link and maybe save a copy to your own Google Drive in case you ever have a question!
Who might like this gift? Elementary teachers who want to give students a place to go for well-modeled read alouds AND any of you teachers with young kids at home trying to get Christmas goodies baked, gifts wrapped and still keep kids entertained. You can rest assured that the links in this app are ad-free, entertaining, and safe for kids to watch. Bonus Tip: To let your own children use your school iPad, learn how to use the Guided Access mode which is part of the Accessibility Features on iPad...you can lock your iPad into a single app like Storyline Online and be assured your school email and other data is not accessible to kids (or spouses!) while they use your iPad. Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access
If you'd like the Storyline Online app added to your students' iPads, just do a support ticket requesting it.
Dongle, Anyone? :)
If you don't already have your very own dongle and you want one, good news: I have a bunch to give to anyone who would use one! Just fill out the form below or use this link. (Sorry . . . this is only for the awesome employees of USD 113 Prairie Hills!)
Ditch that Textbook Free Digital Summit
Matt Miller, author of Ditch that Textbook and one of my favorite bloggers/podcasters is hosting a free digital summit in December! Join me in taking part! Digital conferences like this are great to sign up for because they are generally recorded as video sessions you can watch at your own leisure. In this case, the videos are released one a day for nine days starting on December 14. All the videos can be watched until December 31 and then they disappear. As a bonus, during the conference dates, last year's videos are also available again.
Find out more and register to get notified as the videos are released at: http://ditchsummit.com/
You can read more about this year's presenters at Matt's blog post here: http://ditchthattextbook.com/2018/11/21/ditch-summit-2018-pd-on-your-couch-on-your-time/#more-8550
If you're working on documenting PD points, remember that participating in digital conferences like this can also be used for points!